In the period 1995 to 2008 there has been an increased level of government funding for research and development in higher education institutions in Ireland.\ud \ud This thesis analyses the evolving theoretical literature on the production of knowledge, and traces how models of research and innovation have evolved in the contemporary period. Four models are discussed: (i) linear model, (ii) national systems of innovation, (iii) mode-2 science, and (iv) triple helix.\ud \ud The thesis presents a detailed analysis of a series of public documents produced in Ireland in the period, and discusses how each one relates to the theoretical background. Some of these relationships are explicit, where documents cite key authors and the models as discussed in the theoretical literature. Some of the relationships are implicit, where the manner in which the process of research and development is described implies that certain models are being assumed.\ud \ud The thesis subsequently discusses the results of this analysis, where it seems that the Irish policy literature is moving away from an engagement with at least some of these theoretical models, towards a very operationalised implementation strategy. This is epitomised by the development of the Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation.\ud \ud The thesis finally makes a number of recommendations for policy makers, advising the more detailed study and analysis of Ireland’s own national system of innovation, and the prioritisation of the use of research funding to build up capabilities in identified areas of this system that are weak
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